Sir Roger Scruton

About Sir Roger Scruton

Sir Roger Scruton (1944-2020) was one of the world’s leading conservative thinkers. In his nearly fifty books, he explored the philosophical depths of human nature, politics, and culture. He was Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Future Symphony Institute. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the British Academy. In 2016 Queen Elizabeth II knighted Sir Roger for his services to “philosophy, teaching, and public education.” Sir Roger's books include Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition (2018), Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet (2012), Political Philosophy: Arguments for Conservatism (2007) and Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged (2007).

Sacred Truths in a Profane World

By |2020-02-02T20:18:20-06:00February 2nd, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Homosexual Unions, Islam, Marriage, Religion, Roger Scruton, Truth|

By and large the educated elites in the Western world today are without religious belief and often animated by what I call a “culture of repudiation,” keen to banish old ideas of the sacred from public life and to remake the institutions and structures of civil society so as to reflect their own liberated lifestyle. [...]

Music and the Transcendental

By |2020-01-27T15:45:15-06:00January 27th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, Roger Scruton|

Wherever we are—in restaurants or in the Metro or wherever—we are overhearing music coming at us from all angles, and we are learning how to ignore it. We live in a society where, if we do not learn to ignore it, we cannot also learn to listen to it. This puts an enormous strain [...]

How Bad Philosophy Destroyed Good Music

By |2020-01-27T14:17:59-06:00January 19th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

True artists are not the antagonists of tradition but its latest advocates. They belong to the future because they are guardians of the past. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join the late Sir Roger Scruton, as he considers how bad thinking has created bad music, and what can [...]

Why Beauty Matters

By |2020-01-13T11:38:19-06:00January 13th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Beauty, Roger Scruton|

"The sacred and the beautiful stand side by side. Two doors that open onto a single space. In that space we find our home."—Sir Roger Scruton (1944-2020). Please watch this brilliant, classic documentary by the late Sir Roger Scruton on "Why Beauty Matters." —The editors This essay in our series of “Timeless Essays” [...]

The Last Speech: “A Thing Called Civilization”

By |2020-01-12T15:54:16-06:00January 12th, 2020|Categories: Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Western Civilization|

On September 19, 2019, at the fourteenth annual Gala for Western Civilization, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute presented Sir Roger Scruton with the Defender of Western Civilization award. Sir Roger gave these remarks on accepting the award. He had recently been diagnosed with cancer, the disease that would bring about his death on January 12, 2020. [...]

A Thing Called Civilization

By |2020-01-12T14:15:15-06:00September 25th, 2019|Categories: Roger Scruton, Western Civilization|

On September 19, 2019, at the fourteenth annual Gala for Western Civilization, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute presented Sir Roger Scruton with the Defender of Western Civilization award. Sir Roger gave these remarks on accepting the award. He had recently been diagnosed with cancer, the disease that would bring about his death on January 12, 2020. [...]

Counterpoint and Why It Matters

By |2020-01-13T14:38:09-06:00January 9th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Modernity, Music, Roger Scruton, Western Tradition|

In music, there has arisen in recent times the illusion that knowledge is not necessary, that the old forms of discipline are merely obstacles to the true creative process, and that real originality means doing your own thing, free from traditional constraints… I recently acquired a CD of music for piano duo by Jeremy [...]

The Problem With Architectural “Genius”

By |2020-01-13T15:04:41-06:00September 19th, 2018|Categories: Architecture, Culture, Modernity, Roger Scruton|

The pursuit of genius in architecture is what has most contributed to the unstitching of our urban fabric, giving us those buildings in outlandish shapes and unsightly materials that take a chunk of the city and make it into somewhere else... Cooper Union New Academic Building For the truly great projects, architects are [...]

Sacred Truths in a Profane World

By |2019-05-30T11:27:31-05:00July 18th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Homosexual Unions, Islam, Marriage, Religion, Roger Scruton, Truth|

One after another, the sacred spaces that our customs have protected are invaded and spoiled. That which has been assumed to be unquestionable, indeed protected from the questions that might profane it, is for that very reason subjected to question... In America and across Europe, the business of government has been detached from religious faith. This [...]

The Virtue of Irrelevance

By |2020-01-15T11:59:37-06:00February 24th, 2017|Categories: Culture, Education, Featured, Music, Philosophy, Roger Scruton|

If we know what music is, we have a duty to help young people to understand it, regardless of its “relevance.” We should do this as it has always been done, through encouraging our students to make music together. How many writers, educators, and opinion formers, urgently wishing to convey the thoughts and feelings [...]

Why Modern Music Should Listen to the Past

By |2020-01-13T14:43:20-06:00December 31st, 2016|Categories: Culture, Featured, Music, Philosophy, Roger Scruton|

One can be modern without being avant-garde, and by instead thinking in the old musical way, in terms of grammatical sequences that linger in the ears and the memory of the listeners… Important composers, from Schoenberg and Stravinsky to Ligeti and Stockhausen, have been premiered in this place and before this audience. Along with [...]

Will Classical Music Resist the Assaults of the Avant-Garde?

By |2020-01-13T14:45:05-06:00October 17th, 2016|Categories: Culture, Music, Roger Scruton, Tradition, Western Civilization|

Surprised by Beauty: A Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music, by Robert R. Reilly (Ignatius Press, 2016) Robert R. Reilly was the music critic for Crisis magazine for sixteen years, and is still reviewing concerts and operas for Ionarts. He is an assiduous follower of modern music for the concert hall, and has for [...]